Concealed guns could be carried in schools, churches and other places they’re currently banned under bills adopted Wednesday by the state Senate. The bills were adopted on largely party-line votes.
Republicans used the chance to clean up a loophole in the law to largely eliminate public concealed gun-free zones.
Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) says he considers places such as schools, day cares, and stadiums where people cannot currently legally carry a concealed pistol to be more dangerous.
“I think that anybody who wants to exercise their right to protect themselves and have a firearm should be able to do that wherever they need to,” says Meekhof. “It’s a target-rich environment for people that don’t abide by the law, and people should have the ability to protect themselves, wherever they are.”
Republicans voted down Democrats’ amendments to forbid people convicted of domestic violence or on the federal “no-fly” list from getting a concealed pistol license.
State Sen. Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) sponsored one of the amendments.
“If our goal is to stop bad guys with guns, we should ensure convicted criminals do not have a legal avenue to carry and conceal in the first place – right?” said Warren.
The bills would also outlaw the open carry of firearms in most places where concealed pistons are currently banned. They now go to the state House.